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Author Topic: Can a small government be too easily bought?  (Read 5658 times)

Solitar

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Can a small government be too easily bought?
« on: August 19, 2002, 02:01:59 am »

Can a city or town have too few people or be too small? Can its government be too easily bought?

So how will Free State activists keep wealthy families, corporations, of individuals from buying control of any local city, town, township, or county government?

Restricting government only lasts as long and far as the voters want it to be. The electorate need to be vigilant and also to know what the heck they are doing and what liberty really is.
« Last Edit: September 26, 2003, 11:09:44 pm by Joe, aka, Solitar »
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marciesmom

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Re:Can a state have too few people or be too small?
« Reply #1 on: August 19, 2002, 08:14:12 am »

Part of the answer comes from Rep. Patrick Kennedy, D-Rhode Island.  Remember during the 2000 campaign, when he suggested that the Demos don't care about rural areas?  Note that the creep (double entendre?) of people from liberal Mass into NH and Vermont, liberal NJ and Maryland into Delaware, is happening on the East Coast.  If it's not a big city or the eastern seaboard, liberals don't care.  That might change if libertarians start using their tactics and moving into small-population states (a la the FSP);  Ted Turner might get his dander up if we move into "his" Montana.  Also remember that rural states have fewer ties to labor unions (with their strong demo ties) and big business interests (with their strong repub ties).  I still maintain that building ties on a community-by-community basis is the best way to go.  Meet people where they live and combat the big-money people with personal contacts.
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JT

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Re:Can a state have too few people or be too small?
« Reply #2 on: November 07, 2002, 08:30:15 pm »

This is a good question.  Where I live, a rich man moved to town and bought up every piece of property on the square that he could (small town, about 10k people).  He is tearing some of the buildings down to turn them into a parking lot.  He's constantly butting heads with city officials about what he can do with his new property (I guess the FSP would let him do whatever).  He's trying to buy up the 100 year old courthouse when the new one gets built.  Basically he's ruining the 'downtown' area and a lot of people are upset.  There's not much anyone can do about it, aside from boycotting the businesses he's putting up.  I don't know how active he is in politics, but I have no doubt that he could easily 'buy' his way into office (or buy someone elses way) if he was so inclined.  Maybe a few thousand letters, boycotters, and some unfavorable media coverage would keep him in check, but I kind of doubt it.

Sorry, I don't have an answer to your question, I just felt like ranting.
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Jacobus

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Re:Can a state have too few people or be too small?
« Reply #3 on: November 07, 2002, 09:48:47 pm »

Quote
So how will Free State activists keep wealthy families, corporations, of individuals from buying control of the state government or of any local city, town, township, or county government?

Hayek pointed out that it is in the nature of government that the worst rise to the top.  "Good" politicians are those who are good at lying, cheating, and stealing.  This problem is pointed out by many, including people who push for campaign finance reform: they say that government is being bought off by big business.  The fault, they say, lies in big business.  The truth though, is that the fault lies in inethical government power.  If the gov't did not exist such that people could use it as a tool to loot others, then no one could use it for such.  If the gov't wasn't set up such that it gives some individuals coercive control over the lives of others, thieves would have to steal the old fashioned way.  The only answer to your question is that government power must be reduced, and that's the only way to make sure no one "buys" it off.  The less control government represents over the people's lives, the less attractive it is for unscrupulous individuals to take it.  
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freedomroad

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Re:Can a state have too few people or be too small?
« Reply #4 on: November 07, 2002, 10:54:12 pm »

marciesmom has a point which is a reason to not choose a "plumb" eastern state like Delaware or New Hampshire. Pick a state nobody wants. In the east that would be Maine. In the west that would be any but Idaho and Montana.

So how will Free State activists keep wealthy families, corporations, of individuals from buying control of the state government or of any local city, town, township, or county government?



Interesting.  Maine, however, is a liberal land.

Why did you mention ID, and MT, and not mention WY?  Does a company own WY?  

The largest population centers near WY are from CO and UT.  Both UT and CO are solidly Republican states.  UT has a very large R religious community.  CO has a stong LP, very low state taxes, and the strongest anti-imigration Congressmen in the country.  So, if people did start moving in to WY they would not be mostly liberals like is happening with NH.  ID is right next to a large population center in liberal WA.  The closest population center to MT is also from liberal WA, although it is pretty far away.
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Robert H.

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Re:Can a state have too few people or be too small?
« Reply #5 on: November 08, 2002, 03:21:26 am »

Hayek pointed out that it is in the nature of government that the worst rise to the top.  

This is one reason why I strongly support term limits.  My thinking is that if you want to keep scum out of the pond, you occasionally have to stir the water.

Quote
"Good" politicians are those who are good at lying, cheating, and stealing.  This problem is pointed out by many, including people who push for campaign finance reform: they say that government is being bought off by big business.  The fault, they say, lies in big business.  The truth though, is that the fault lies in inethical government power.  If the gov't did not exist such that people could use it as a tool to loot others, then no one could use it for such.  If the gov't wasn't set up such that it gives some individuals coercive control over the lives of others, thieves would have to steal the old fashioned way.  

Well said, Jacobus.  It all really boils down to a collapse in the concept of the laws as absolute.  As long as the laws alone are supreme (those laws recognizing individual rights and property, that is), then all of us are equal beneath the laws and equally protected by the laws.  But once those laws are subverted, strong men arise and become a law unto themselves.  Once this happens, none of us is safe.  The belief that a majority has an absolute right to rule regardless of any other considerations (including the Constitution), for example, has been a serious detriment to us all over the years for this very reason.  It facilitates a process whereby those who can obtain power can enact measures to keep themselves in power, especially making people dependent upon them through such things as entitlement programs, and granting favors to special interest groups.

I especially fear the judicial branch because it is the only branch of government that gives itself the power to decide what it has the power to decide.  People who would otherwise protest acts of the executive and legislature then sit back and say:  "Well, this is a complicated legal issue, and they're the legal minds, so they must know.  And even if they're wrong, none of us can prove it.  Besides, they are the final authority."

And here I always thought that the people themselves were supposed to be the final authority...so much for that I suppose.  And oh yeah, I almost forgot: a lot of people like things they way they are now because it gives them a chance to vy for power that they wouldn't have access to otherwise.  The fact that we have a throne set up means that they might get a chance to sit in it.  

Robert H.

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Re:Can a state have too few people or be too small?
« Reply #6 on: November 08, 2002, 04:34:26 am »

The electorate need to be vigilant and also to know what the heck they are doing and what liberty really is.

Absolutely.  Education and vigilance are the key components to maintaining a free society.  Liberty cannot survive without both of these elements working together.  Placing controls in a system can help restrain the decay of freedom, but this will only work if those controls themselves are defended.

Jacobus

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Re:Can a state have too few people or be too small?
« Reply #7 on: November 08, 2002, 08:01:16 am »

If a majority of people support government expansion and are prepared to let their polticians exercise violence on their behalf, there is in fact nothing we could do to stop them.  The fact that individuals have rights does not stop the guy with more guns from stealing from them.  So the only way to stop people from looting others through gov't is to reduce gov't more and more.  But this will require a certain number of people to support such reduction, and also enough people to support its continued reduction.  That's why the FSP resorts to strength in numbers.  Hopefully we will be enough people and be able to convince enough homelanders that the above is the way to go.

Quote
Resticting government only lasts as long and far as the voters want it to be.

Absolutely correct.  My hope is that someday the voters will realize that using government for their own personal gain at the expense of others is inethical and contrary to a free society, where you can only (rightfully) gain by voluntary exchange and mutual cooperation.  Slavery, once an institution that most everyone took for granted and as "natural" eventually was exposed for the atrocity it was.  Perhaps someday government will go the same way.  
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heyerstandards

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Re:Can a state have too few people or be too small?
« Reply #8 on: November 08, 2002, 02:39:08 pm »

As the saying goes, when buying and selling are legislated, the first things to be bought and sold are legislators.

Big businesses don't own states, they own politicians.  If our candidates have no intention of running the state for the benefit of selected business, and we actually control legislatures (or at least significant minorities to paralyze them) no business can "control" a state.  Yes, firms can come in and buy up some land, or move out, or send lots of bucks to oppose us. That's their right, and we'll defend that right.  (Freedom must work both ways.)

But their money is fruitless, as long as we continue to win.

(What do you think the government workers union nationals will send to [Free State] when we start whacking spending 80%? Teachers unions?  My guess is we can't imagine their response once they figure out the consequences of what the [Free State] can start.
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Is government sometimes useful? Answered Mencken:

So is a doctor. But suppose the dear fellow claimed the right, every time he was called in to prescribe for a bellyache..., to raid the family silver, use the family tooth-brushes, and execute the droit de seigneur upon the housemaid.

mlilback

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Re:Can a state have too few people or be too small?
« Reply #9 on: November 08, 2002, 03:03:44 pm »

As the saying goes, when buying and selling are legislated, the first things to be bought and sold are legislators.

Reminds me of a great joke I saw on Leno a while back.

"Enron just had a huge auction of their assets. I did pretty well. I picked up a senator and two representatives."

Mark
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PongGod

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Re:Can a state have too few people or be too small?
« Reply #10 on: November 08, 2002, 03:46:00 pm »

Reminds me of a great joke I saw on Leno a while back.

"Enron just had a huge auction of their assets. I did pretty well. I picked up a senator and two representatives."

Mark

LOL!  That's classic!
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None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free. --Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe
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